Is Hasbro running Star Wars collectors out of the game?
The last 2 years have been very difficult on collectors. Price increases, product shortages, pegwarmers, delays, and now lines that are simply not inspired enough. It feels like Hasbro is pushing us collectors out of the game, and it's not just Star Wars, they've fumbled with their other big brands as well - ask any GI Joe fan, or just look at the amount of Transformers product that ends up at clearance and liquidation - yet it's Star Wars that feels the most maligned perhaps because of how high it flew previously.
In the premium collector 3.75" figures, the quality seems to have gone DOWN in sculpting and materials and even paint, there are huge backslides in wave after wave, very few satisfying figures per case, and most cases have holdovers that are still pegwarming.
In the basic line, the figures are limited interest and the variety is not there, but worse is how botched the situation with vehicles has gotten. Star Wars has been a line driven by its creative vehicle toys and how figures interact with them, yet bungling after bungling has occurred so that there's now no new vehicles at any pricepoint and the last new vehicles ended up being horrible little shells nobody wanted.
Then there's the 6" premium line, a risky experiment that might have paid off better had the line been managed as a premium experience with balanced case assortments, finer choices of accessories and features, less compromises for the kiddie set, and not cheapified horribly in its second wave and beyond. It also suffers from a significant quality control problem.
Is Hasbro just misfiring or is this something greater, is this a sign of bigger problems in the brand that speak to collectors being thrown over?